Tonight Carly was very angry with me for not letting her do something she wanted to do at bedtime. I laid down in bed with her as she fell asleep. She told me that she doesn't like me. I understand, I said, but I still like you.
Then, to get more of a response, she said, rather quietly, "I hate you."
"Well, I can't stop you from hating me, but I still love you anyhow. Even if I were mad at you, I would still love you."
Hm, that didn't work on mama... let's try another tactic:
"I'm not going to sleep here anymore."
"No, sweetie? Where are you going to go?"
"Oh, okay. Will you just sleep outside or will you have a tent?"
"Good idea, Carly. You wouldn't want to get bit by the bugs." Our windows are open tonight and we can hear all the night sounds.
"Also the thunder, mama."
"Oh true, you'd need a tent to stay out of the rain."
"Or maybe I will live by S (friend from preschool)."
"Ok, will you live in her house or just by her house?"
"In her house. And I will eat their food if it is okay with her mom. I wonder if I will like what they have to eat. Maybe they will not have some things that I like, like lasagna. They definitely won't have Cinnamon Toast Crunch."
"Yeah, it's hard to know. I wonder if they have enough beds for you. Maybe you will need to sleep on the floor in your sleeping bag."
"I will take my sleeping bag."
"Well, I will miss you... I hope you come back and visit sometimes, Carly."
"You can come visit ME, mama."
"True, maybe I can, if it's okay with S's mom. But I will still miss you a lot."
"You're trying to make me fall in love with you, mama!"